Every few days I’ve been working on a project that’s very near to my heart. In my family, we have a special cookbook. We call it the Hall of Fame Cookbook and it most certainly is.

The binding is cracked from years of being smoothed open. The cover is peeling from multiple pulls out off the shelf. The handwritten pages,  complete with coordinating doodles made my mom (my favorite part), are stained from years of recipes. It’s no secret which are family favorites — some of the handwriting is almost not even legible anymore from the splatters.

This book is a strong representation of family for me. One of the heirlooms that I am priviliged to be in possession of. My job is to type each recipe to be made into a professionaly bound book. Not for sale, but for us, the family, to have always.

The original is an artifact. Pages of history and stories documenting the when and where each meal was initially created. The covers contain memories that belong to my parents. Stories written before my birth. Then there are recipes I remember — my first birthday cake, school party treats. Famous family dishes with our name built right in.

I cherish this book. More than a piece of jewelry or a handcrafted end table. This book holds my history — in recipes. I hope one day my children will turn each page and smile as they make their own memories from the pages in their grandmother’s handwriting, flanked by doodles of dancing, smiling shrimp and butter stains.

This is our history.

And I’m so proud of it.